Cabinet has approved the procurement of a research vessel and four patrol boats for the fisheries sector to enable Ghana to guard its marine resources effectively.
The research vessel will facilitate regular fisheries research and stock assessment to amplify data availability for science-based fisheries management, whilst the four patrol boats, to be deployed to each of the four coastal regions, will help the security agencies guard against the illegal exploitation of marine resources.
President Akufo-Addo said this at the 37th National Farmers Day at the Adisadel College Park in Cape Coast, on the theme: “Planting for Food and Jobs: Consolidating Food Systems in Ghana”.
He said the acquisition of the vessels would strengthen Ghana's capacity to address the over-exploitation of the marine ecosystem and curb the pervasive incidence of illegal unreported and unregulated fishing by local and foreign fishing vessels.
Construction works on fishing harbours and landing sites across the four coastal regions were progressing steadily and, upon completion, would transform the fisheries sector by providing modernied berthing, handling, processing and mechanisation facilities to the fisher folks, the President said.
He was particularly happy about the fishing communities' “enthusiastic embrace and seeing the benefits of the closed fishing season policy.”
The President said preparatory works were ongoing for the enactment of a new fisheries act to address the lapses in the existing legislation and deepen sustainable management of those resources.
He gave the assurance that the Government would do all it could to help preserve the marine ecosystem of Ghana.
This year's event was jointly hosted by the ministries of Food and Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, and the Ghana Cocoa Board.
Alhaji Mashud Mohammed from the Mion District of the Northern Region is the 2021 Overall National Best Farmer and received GHc600,000 from the Agricultural Development Bank, 500,000 worth of insurance cover from GLICO Insurance and a study trip to Israel sponsored by Broadspectrum Limited.
The First Runner-up position went to Suleman Yidana from the North East Region, who took home a tractor, trailer, Disc Plough, a Boom Sprayer and 300,000 worth of insurance cover by GLICO Insurance as well as a study trip to Israel.
Reverend Samuel Sida from the Asutifi North District of the Ahafo Region was adjudged the Second-runner up and received a Nissan Navara Double Cabin Pick-Up and 200,000 worth of insurance cover from GLICO Insurance.
Mr kweku Ehun from Gomoa West Central won the Best Fisherman slot and will have a two-bedroom house built at his preferred location.
The day recognises the contributions of farmers and fisherfolks to Ghana socio-economic development.
A total of 160 farmers and fishermen across the country received awards for their sterling effort at ensuring national food security.